Issued: September 4, 2020
Quinte Conservation’s field staff have built a new example of stormwater Green Infrastructure at the Potter’s Creek Conservation Area on Old Hwy 2 in Belleville. This rain garden project demonstrates the use of simple stormwater landscaping strategies that can help improve water quality in the Bay of Quinte.
The rain garden acts as a sponge and filter for runoff from Quinte Conservation’s office roof and parking lot, diverting the flow from its previous path to Potter’s Creek and the Bay of Quinte. The garden is designed as a shallow depression in the ground to capture and slow the stormwater and allow it to soak into soil modified with sand and crushed stone to improve drainage during rainfall.
Stormwater Project Coordinator Olivia Hughes says, “We wanted to demonstrate some simple ways to keep rain and runoff where it falls rather than letting it sweep contaminants off of impervious surfaces before draining to the nearest rivers or lake. This rain garden is the first of several projects we're looking to implement around the Bay of Quinte to learn from hands-on experience and find ways to share that knowledge with others.”
The installation of rain barrels with a slow-release irrigation system will help sustain other new plantings around the property in times of low water and drought conditions. Staff chose native plant species for the rain garden for their drought tolerance and their extensive root systems that help uptake and infiltrate large amounts of water during rainfall. Many of the wildflowers and shrubs have the added benefit of providing habitat for pollinators that rely on native species to survive.
Hughes adds, “The goal was to create a space for learning and demonstrating innovation, but also to create a space that visitors to our office could enjoy because of the inviting and naturalized atmosphere. Green Infrastructure should be simple and work with nature rather than against it.”

Residents interested in learning about how they can turn a portion of their yard into a rain garden can sign up for a free webinar hosted by the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, Lower Trent Conservation, and Quinte Conservation on October 7th, 2020. Participants who register before September 28th will receive a free “Greening Your Grounds” workbook. More information is available at